Docs at Venice International FF

Docs at Venice International FF. The festival (29/8-08/9) announced its program yesterday and I went to search documentaries in the “Out of Competition” section, where they are placed.

Ten titles – as the festival puts it – by established directors: Amos Gitai, Victor Kosakovsky, Emir Kusturica, Sergei Loznitsa, Ron Mann, Francesca Mannocchi & Alessio Romenzi, Errol Morris, Giorgio Treves, Tsai Ming-Liang and Frederick Wiseman.

From the latter, the 88 year old American master of observational documentary, comes “Monrovia, Indiana”, 2 hours and 23 minutes, I stole this description from the internet:

“Located in mid-America, MONROVIA, INDIANA, (population 1400), founded in 1812, is primarily a farming community. The film is about the day-to-day experiences living and working in Monrovia, with emphasis on community organizations and institutions, religion and daily life in this farming community.”

Errol Morris goes to Venice with “American Dharma” – no description but the fact that Steve Bannon (!!!) is the character. Very actual, indeed.

Sergei Loznitsa is there with his third film from this year, “Process”, referring to the Stalinist processes in the 1930’es. I met Loznitsa in Krakow this year, where he told me about this film, with great enthusiasm, having found footage never shown before, “that will change history”, he said!

And… the cherry on the cake, after years of waiting for a new film by wonderful Victor Kossakovsky, “Aquarela” (PHOTO) is ready, 89 minutes, a film that contrary to the other I have mentioned, have been extensively written about, mostly on social media – I have taken the description from British Council:

Aquarela’ takes audiences on a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. Filmed at a rare 96 frames-per-second, the film is a visceral wake-up call that humans are no match for the sheer force and capricious will of Earth’s most precious element. From the precarious frozen waters of Russia’s Lake Baikal to Miami in the throes of Hurricane Irma to Venezuela’s mighty Angels Falls, water is ‘Aquarela’s’ main character, with director Victor Kossakovsky capturing her many personalities in startling visual detail.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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